Indianapolis police continue crackdown on illegal guns and drugs with Operation First Step

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Indianapolis police continue their crackdown on illegal guns and drugs.

On Thursday, the IMPD arrested eight people while raiding homes across the city.  Police served search warrants at five homes.

The goal is to make the city a little safer before the long 4th of July weekend.

Starting at a home on Columbia, police seized handguns and several grams of cocaine. Next on West 23rd Street, officers busted an illegal marijuana growing operation. At a home on West 10th Street, police arrested a man in possession of heroin.

All the arrests had the same purpose.

“The IMPD is now squarely focused on the root causes of crime.  Specifically we’re focusing on guns and illegal drug activity,” said Indianapolis mayor Joe Hogsett.

Two weeks ago, the IMPD kicked off Operation First Step by arresting 26 people during a series of raids.

Mayor Hogsett believes fighting crime in Indianapolis starts by taking drugs off the streets.

“I mean there is a nexus between drugs and other criminal activities,” said Hogsett.

“There is now less of an opportunity that someone will be selling drugs over the long weekend and get murdered,” said IMPD chief Troy Riggs.

Chief Riggs says at the bust on West 10th Street, police arrested a man who was recently the victim of a non-fatal shooting but failed to cooperate.

Police are also trying to end that sort of behavior and say the arrests are still just beginning.

“It’s called Operation First Step for a reason, because it’s the first step in aggressive patrols to remove people have propensity for violence in the city of Indianapolis,” said Riggs.

Because the 4th of July weekend traditionally sees a spike in violent crime, the chief and mayor hope the busts serve an important warning.

“We are trying to send a message that for those who want to enjoy themselves, please do so, but if you’re going to be involved in criminal activity this weekend, the IMPD is going to be watching,” said Hogsett.

In addition to the drugs, police seized six illegal guns. One of those weapons was reported stolen way back in 1969.

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